Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This article reflects on the various viewpoints that have been expressed in literature and linguistics about the form and function of words, and their relationship to thoughts and actions, things and events. with illustrations taken from over thirty writers. Understanding creativity in word use involves considerations of language variation and change, language play, and language history. Quantifying the size of a lexicon, whether of the language as a whole or of a person’s individual knowledge, provides a relevant perspective, though it is a task which presents serious methodological issues. For many writers, it is the encounter with the vastness of vocabulary that contributes to their fascination with words.

Keywords: creativity in words, language change, language play, language history, vocabulary size, writers on words, words and thoughts, words and things, words and deeds actions

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.